Small business owners in Los Angeles lurch toward an uncertain future

Many of you reading this blog know I lived in Southern California for almost 20 years. And those were my formative years, including high school (St. Francis, 1985) and college (USC, 1989).

When I left in 1995, it was because the cost of living and the quality of life I wanted no longer seemed within my reach. Mind you, I was in my late 20s and single, and I wanted to get my Master’s elsewhere; however, who knew what that planned one year in Ohio had in store!

Nevertheless, a part of me will always call Los Angeles home. And a story in today’s Los Angeles Times hit me hard because many people who are in my age bracket and who stayed there face a precarious future because of the economic fallout from coronavirus. As one person said,

“Sometimes you get caught up in what I call sweeps of history, and it doesn’t make any difference how smart you are or how strong or well-financed … You can be swept away by a tidal wave. We’re in a pandemic and it’s a tsunami.”

Yes, I know small business owners in all parts of the country are under threat because of coronavirus, the convenience of e-commerce and the cost of doing business (to name just three), but reading about them in a place where I called home — and where part of me always will be found — was an important reminder that they are the backbone of every community and city.

Take them away and you’re left with lots of closed doors, unemployed people and a decline in the character of the place you call home. Los Angeles likely will never be home again, but I still love it, and, oh, it has such rich character.

The lie

The boy and the girl

And their friends are heading out

Nothing untoward, of course,

They’re just milling about.

As the girl waltzes out the door

She was asked when she’d be home

She looked here and there

Oh, how her eyes they did roam.

A time was suggested

Too late to be right

But sell it, she did try

With all of her might.

The boy, he just stared

Not a word he did peep

For he heard the girl’s words

And thought ‘Nope, mom wants me asleep.’

One mom called another

“That’s what I thought,” one did say

But they laughed as they remembered

The games they once did play.